How did a workhouse become a hospital? What's the story behind the building where so many Chelmsford babies were born? To discover the fascinating history of Chelmsford's workhouse and St John's Hospital, visit Chelmsford Museum's Annual Museum Lecture, which will explore its history at the Cramphorn Studio on Friday 9 March at 8pm.

The workhouse at Wood Street, Chelmsford, was founded in 1837 and was built to meet the requirements of the Poor Law Act. Many years later it became St John's Hospital, where many Chelmsford people were born. Respected local historian and author, Stephen Norris, will explore the history of the workhouse: what was it like to live there, what happened to the first Master of the workhouse, who were the Poor Law guardians and how did St John's Hospital come about?

Stephen Norris has already had a book, ‘From A Borough To A City: A History of Chelmsford 1888 - 2012', published and has now turned his attention to Chelmsford's workhouse for what promises to be an eye-opening evening on a fascinating subject.

Tickets for the event are £6, with premium seats £2 extra. Tickets are available from the Civic Theatre's Box Office, in person, by phone: 01245 606505 or through the web at:

To discover more about Chelmsford Museum, visit

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